Why I Will Actually Miss the Toddler Years

Toddlers. Tiny rambunctious humans with way too much energy and too many emotions to contain…full of NOs, questions and curiosity…they can be a handful. You may have heard of the terrible 2s, terrible 3s and so-on….but, what if I told you that I will actually miss this phase?

Just wait a sec and hear me out on this.

My oldest will be 3 in September and he’s now entering a really fun phase. He is potty trained, he can communicate more with us and is saying new words every day, he gets VERY excited about his favorite things and his attention span has lengthened so he stays occupied for longer periods. He is understanding the world around him more…what makes him happy & sad and so on. He is learning just what he is capable of doing…even when he thinks that he can’t, he will try it and be amazed at what he really can do. It’s really quite amazing for me, as a mom, to see him progress and learn as much as he is. It’s also so rewarding….because all the days of talking, repeating what things are and so on seem to be paying off.

It’s amazing and yet so incredibly bittersweet. Of course I want my babies to learn, grow and be independent, but it’s always a battle of wanting them to grow and wanting them to stay little forever.

There’s also the affection that my toddler gives us which may be the BEST type of reward for those long and hard mom days. He will randomly give me kisses or hug my leg. He gives us long hugs and squeezes…and then there’s the pats on the back that come with those hugs. It’s when his little hand reaches out for mine that makes my heart melt or how he stays glued by my side when he meets someone new. It’s when I lay down with him at night and he hands me his train book & declares “read”; one by one he will tell me which color each train is and the excitement on his face is priceless. It’s in that moment when a train in a book is enough to light up my son’s face that I know how precious this age truly is.

And how fast it will fade by.

Pretty soon, faster than I would like, my toddler will be heading off to kindergarten. He’ll be off making friends and he won’t want to hold my hand anymore. When I pick him up from school, he will excitedly tell me about his day and what he learned about, and I will sit back and smile. And as much as I long for the days of a little more time to myself, he will also grow a little more away from me.

Pretty soon, he won’t want the extra cuddles or kisses…and the random squeezes around my leg will become less & less. He will also grow out of his love for certain “kid” things and find the world around him less exciting. He won’t want to chat about the simple things and he will probably think I’m not so cool anymore. He will lose his baby face, grow taller & won’t want to be tucked into bed at night. And then will come the dreaded day when he won’t want me to kiss him in front of his friends (although I still will) & instead of picking flowers for his momma, he’ll be picking flowers for a girl. (although I hope he will still think of me from time to time)

So as hard as it can be parenting a toddler, I desperately try to remember that some-day when I have a moody teenager with a crackling voice, I will want these days back. And so I give my toddler one more squeeze and read him his train book one more time.

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80 Rules For My Sons

My boys are growing so fast and it’s no secret that one day, they will be men. I’ll be sending them off into this big & scary world and that is pretty terrifying.

I have so much to teach my sons and so much that I want them to learn. If I had to give them some rules, these would be it.

I know that I left out a lot, but here are a couple that I had no trouble writing down.

 

 

 

1. Live everyday with a full heart and open mind.

2. Remember that every choice comes with a consequence…and a reputation.

3. Always hold the door open for other people but especially a lady.

4. Open your girlfriend’s car door. Chivalry is not dead.

5. If she says that nothing is wrong…don’t believe her. Ask her. Listen.

6. You can catch more flies with honey then with vinegar.

7. Whatever you post on the internet is there forever..even if you erase it. Don’t be foolish.

8. Sit with the new kid at lunch.

9. If it’s something that doesn’t feel right, it isn’t. Always trust your gut.

10. Nothing good ever happens after 1AM.

11. Video games are not your life. Get outside.

12. Hard work is the foundation to a successful life.

13. Put the toilet seat down every-time. I don’t want to fall in the toilet at 4AM.

14. Don’t drink or drive or get in the car with anyone that was drinking. If you need a ride, call me. No questions asked. I just want you safe.

15. Always shake hands with a stranger when you meet them. And look them in the eye.

16. The women you choose to marry will be my daughter-in-law and holds the foundation for our relationship. Please, choose her wisely.

17. You can’t love someone else if you don’t love yourself. Work on that first.

18. Your teenage years will probably be the most awkward and dreaded of your life, but I promise you, they go by fast & there’s better stuff ahead. Hang in there.

19. Play at least one sport or extra-circular activity.

20. College isn’t for everyone and I don’t want you to feel pressured to go…trade-schools are amazing and there’s nothing wrong with working with your hands.

21. Save your money. You’ll be glad you did. You don’t need that new cell-phone or TV.

22. I won’t always be around to make your meals & clean your clothes. So learn how to do those things. It will also make your future wife happy.

23. A simple smile & hello go a long way. Be kind for no reason.

24. There’s nothing that a cup of coffee or a run can’t fix.

25. If you ever have babies, just change the damn diapers. You saw what she had to go through.

26. Treat your girlfriend/wife like the Queen she is.

27. If you’re bored, find me. I’ll give you something to do.

28. Your never too old to follow your dreams. Never say never.

29. Watch football with your dad, even if you hate it. You’ll be glad that you did one day.

30. Take as many pictures as you can. One day, it will be all that’s left of someone.

31. If you love someone, tell them. Never leave them guessing.

32. If you have more than one girlfriend at a time and bring them home, you better believe that I’ll call them the wrong name on purpose. Don’t be a jerk.

33. You may fight with your brother and disagree but in the end remember, you two are all you have.

34. I brought you into this world and I can take you out of it. Your never too old for a whoopin’.

35. Please remember the important dates: anniversaries, birthdays, Mother’s Day,  Father’s Day. And a simple phone call goes a long way.

36. Don’t be cheap. Splurge a little. You can’t take it with you when you go.

37. Consent is a two-way street. Don’t be a jerk.

38. Put your phone down and take a look at the world around you.

39. Go on Sunday drives just because.

40. Little notes and compliments go a lot farther than chocolate and roses.

41. Nobody likes a cocky person. Get off your high-horse.

42. Nobody wants to be friends with the guy that talks about himself. Listen to other people, too.

43. Don’t get too high on the bottle.

44. A true friend is rare and extremely hard to find. Keep them close.

45. Brush your teeth every-day. Mouthwash and gum doesn’t count.

46. I want to hear from you, so call me. I might be missing you.

47. Never raise a hand to a women. I don’t care the circumstance.

48. Water is extremely important so drink it.

49. School doesn’t define you, but it will set the way for your future. Please try.

50. Life won’t hand you what you want. You need to work for it.

51. Money isn’t everything. Learn to enjoy the simple things in life because as you get older, that’s what you want.

52. Sitting home on a Friday night with your parents isn’t uncool.

53. Don’t do something to fit in. It’s pretty cool to stand out & say no.

54. Be nice to your teachers. They deal with you & about fifty other little turds.

55. Never let the gas tank go passed half.

56. Ketchup can go on eggs. Don’t listen to your father.

57. Whenever you get annoyed by me, remember that you used to always follow me in the bathroom.

58. Just wake up with the baby and let her sleep. She will be forever grateful.

59. Manners are still a thing- never forget them.

60. Listen to the stories of people older than you. They have a lot of wisdom & you can learn something from them.

61. That job that your killing yourself for- that company can replace you in a week. Don’t make it your life.

62. Clean out your fridge once a month. You never know what’s growing in there.

63. Reading for fun is possible. Make yourself get lost in a book. And women like smart men.

64. Bubble baths are not just for women. Learn how to relax. You’ll feel better.

65. Just let her shop and don’t roll your eyes. And carry the bags.

66. There’s nothing better than the love of a pet. Adopt, don’t shop. There’s plenty of animals that need a forever home.

67. There’s nothing better then a sense of  humor.

68. Learn to laugh at your imperfections. Don’t take yourself so seriously.

69. Stand up for what you believe in, even if no one else believes it.

70. Bring her coffee and breakfast in bed.

71. Communication is the key to a strong relationship. Talk.

72. If you see it happening, that’s just as bad as doing it. Stop it or walk away.

73. Your never too old to go on the swings at the park.

74. Have goals in life.

75. A man is as only as strong as his word.

76. Your heart will get broken and it will feel horrible. I’ll be here to pick up the pieces & to let you know: you’ll be okay.

77. Own at least one nice dress shirt, a pair of khakis & dress shoes. You never know when you’ll need them.

78. Clean up after your messes. Nobody likes a slob.

79. Your never too old to kiss your mother.

80. Spread your wings & fly…there’s a big world out there and you will do great things. But home will always be there for you. Always.

 

 

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To the mom….

To the thirty-something year-old women that is childless and has suffered three miscarriages and always gets asked?: “when are you having babies?”

To the mother of four with another on the way that constantly gets those looks and questions of: “did you really want all of those kids?”

To the mom that only has one child and constantly gets hounded with the question: “when are you going to give him/her a sibling?”

To the mom with the awful postpartum depression that desperately wants another baby but can’t imagine going through that again.

To the mom that has all girls and gets asked: “when are you trying for that boy?!”

To the mom that has all boys and gets asked: “when are you trying for that girl?!”

To the mom that ate healthy and smart during her pregnancy.

To the mom that drank coffee and gave into her McDonald’s cravings.

To the mom that chooses to birth in her home with no drugs and a doula. 

To the mom that chooses to birth in a hospital with doctors and nurses around and gets that epidural. 

To the mom that has a well-thought out birth plan and three names picked out for each gender.

To the mom that just wings it and has no idea what she’s naming her baby.

To the mom that breastfeeds and nurses her baby out in public with no cover.

To the mom that formula feeds her baby.

To the mom that uses a pacifier to soothe and is in no hurry to wean after age 1.

To the mom that’s in no hurry to wean her baby off the breast after age 1.

To the the mom that lets her baby cry it out.

To the mom that co-sleeps.

To the mom that pushes her baby in a stroller.

To the mom that wears her baby in a carrier.

To the mom that feeds her baby Gerber baby food.

To the mom that baby-led weans.

To the mom that prepares healthy, organic and gluten-free meals for her kids.

To the mom that feeds her kid chicken nuggets, mac and cheese and the occasional Happy Meal.

To the mom that puts Huggies and Pampers on her baby.

To the mom that puts cloth diapers on her baby.

To the mom that keeps her home spotless.

To the mom that lets her kids eat off the floor.

To the mom that buys brand new clothes.

To the mom that relies on Goodwill and second-hand stores.

To the mom that reads to her kids and doesn’t allow any screen time.

To the mom that turns on the TV to Dinosaur Train to get a few minutes of peace and quiet.

To the mom that documents every milestone in the baby book.

To the mom that has no time to write it down but swears that she will get to it someday.

To the mom that rear-faces her kid’s car seat until age four years old.

To the mom that rear-faces until her kid is two.

To the mom that plans the most well thought out birthday parties with a special theme and spectacular cake.

To the mom that has a small celebration with a store bought cake around the kitchen table.

To the mom that stays at home with her babies and is there for every moment and milestone.

To the mom that works outside the home to provide for her babies.

To the mom that gifts her kids books, blocks and dolls.

To the mom that gifts her toddler an iPad.

To the mom that enforces a solid bedtime of 7PM.

To the mom that wings it on bedtime.

To the mom that chooses not to spank as a form of discipline.

To the mom that does choose to spank as a form of discipline.

To the mom that has a million pictures of her kids hung up on the walls of her home.

To the mom that still doesn’t have pictures of her second born even developed.

To the mom that decides to give her son only gender-specific toys.

To the mom that doesn’t care if her son plays with dolls.

To the mom that watches her kid tentatively at the park.

To the mom buried in her phone at the park because she desperately needed some “me” time.

To the mom that home-schools.

To the mom that puts her kid in a public school.

To the mom that makes crafts, bakes home made cookies and attends every PTA meeting.

To the mom that barely remembers to fill out a school permission slip and can’t sew to save her life.

To the mom that has never-ending patience and kindness.

To the mom that loses her shit way too easily then feels incredibly guilty.

To the mom that censors her kid’s music and TV shows.

To the mom that sings Eminem songs right along with her kid.

To the mom that holds everything together when she feels like falling apart.

 

 

This is for all the moms out there that do their best every single day.

You don’t owe anyone an explanation. 

We’re all doing what we can to get by. Please stop being hard on yourself.

You’re pretty badass.

<3

 

 

 

 

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My First Born: I’m Sorry That It’s Hard

There are things in life that you can never really be prepared for. In this blog post, I talk about exactly that…..

We now have a full-blown toddler in the house.

I wasn’t prepared for this shit.

 My oldest has always been sweet, shy, and very sensitive. I feel like he has an old soul. He is kind and caring. So when our very sweet little boy woke up one morning and decided to turn the game plan around on us, well, it was hard.

I say it was hard because it takes the patience of 20 people to deal with that of a toddler. You constantly have to keep them entertained so they don’t get too bored and burn the house down. And you have to deal with the random outbursts and constant tantrums because they don’t want mac and cheese for lunch {but now they DO want mac and cheese for lunch}, and deal with the behavioral problems like biting and kicking. It’s also extremely frustrating because these tiny people can’t quite express their emotions…. it’s all new to them! They also can’t verbally communicate that well yet, so telling you what they need/want becomes a challenge. And then there’s the sudden want of independence….toddlers just want to do EVERYTHING on their own.. and THEIR way. I won’t say that it’s necessarily a bad thing…but you try being in a hurry to get out the door and your toddler INSISTS on putting on his own jacket, socks and shoes. 🙂 …

It’s damn near exhausting. I’m exhausted.

So Beaux, I am writing this right now to tell you: I’m sorry it’s so hard.

I’m sorry that this is hard on you, but here is a secret: it is hard on me, too.

You are my first child so obviously I am experiencing all of this first-hand with you. I have absolutely no clue what I’m doing because believe it or not, they didn’t give me a how-to manual the day we brought you home.  Everything leading up to now has been fairly easy. You were a wonderful sleeper, eater, not too fussy, decent traveler, easy to entertain….yeah, it was okay! But my love, I’m afraid that the game-plan has been turned around and now all those things I listed are the opposite, and this has made me pretty darn tired.

I’m so tired that some mornings when you wake up at 5:30 AM and your brother is still sleeping, I give you the iPad so you can be entertained and so that I could catch a maybe 30-minute nap. And on the days where I’m out of all the ideas on how to keep you amused, I turn on Daniel Tiger or Minions so I could get some quick 20-minute cleaning done or an uninterrupted shower. And when I stop in the mall to treat myself to my favorite coffee and decide to give you those mini-donuts because you basically NEED them, well darn it, I cave and give you them. Because sometimes, it’s just easier to go with the flow then to try to be “the mom I swore to myself I would never be.”  I love you to pieces but some-days are HARD. Just HARD. And I know that it’s hard on you, too.

I know that you were thrown into the chaos of having a baby brother. I know that you weren’t quite ready to share mommy or daddy’s time. You weren’t too sure what was happening, but I believe that you have adapted to your Bubba in the best possible way. When he was still in my belly, you would rub and blow raspberries on my tummy and giggle. We would talk about “baby” everyday and you caught on that “shhh” means “baby is sleeping.”  The day you visited us in the hospital to meet your brother, it was like you knew all along that he was arriving and what all of this meant. You help out with him all of the time; whether it be holding his bottle, giving him his binkie, or simply rubbing his head to calm him down, YOU ARE THE BEST big brother! But then there are those not-so-great days when you don’t want to share your toys and you don’t understand why mommy has to hold Bubba a little bit longer or why he now gets to sit in your big-boy highchair and play with your toys {which are now his toys as well}. This is all hard for you, but sweetie, it’s hard on me, too. I wish I could explain to you just how much I love both you and your brother; how I would do anything in the world for the both of you. I try my best for you to understand that my heart is big enough to love the both of you…and a million times over. 

We have made a huge move all the way across the world, and this is something you have struggled with. We ripped you away from the environment that you have grown comfortable with, and you no longer see family members that you have come to love. We just left one day on an airplane and since then, bounced around from a hotel to our now, home. Your bed isn’t here yet, neither are your toys, so I can’t imagine what is going on in your little head. You are afraid now when mommy or daddy leave the room. You cry out for me in the middle of the night, and I have to comfort you back to sleep. I know this is because we are in this new place and so many changes have happened for you so quickly. You have clung to your brother and love on him more than ever. You are still just so sweet despite your sour exterior and stubbornness and I only love you more for it.

If you were to read this one day, I know that you won’t remember these moments that have been challenging for all of us. We are all going through this together and learning from each-other. We love you & we try the best we can to be the parents that you deserve to have. It’s hard, but you are worth it. <3

If I am learning anything during these difficult moments of parenting, it’s that these phases are just that…. phases. It won’t last forever. They won’t be small for very much longer. I won’t get yesterday back. It’s sad for me to think about. I won’t get all of these frustrating and hair-pulling moments back. Everyday, my babies are one day older and I feel like they are slipping away from me…even though they are still so little. I feel so guilty sometimes; for wishing away bad days and praying for a moment of quiet so I could collect my thoughts {and sanity}. I try hard to be a good Mom, but I know that I fail on occasion. It’s tough. It will only get tougher. But, my boys are worth it. So. Worth. It.

 

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Yes, I’m A Mom. And Yes, It’s All I Post About

I’m a mother, hear me roar. And my social media feed is proof of that.

If you are on my friend’s list, it’s no secret that I post a lot of pictures and status updates about my son. I think I probably post a picture every other day but I know I definitely do at least once a week…and I basically have that right to, because my son is my world and the cutest little minion with blonde hair and blue eyes. (so i’m a little biased.) I love posting things about my son, he is all I really post about…oh and the occasional recipe and sappy quote about being a mom and how much I love my son…. that too. I’m a mom and my facebook feed is living-dying proof of that. From the profile pic to the cover photo to the daily jargon of teething and crankiness, it’s all on display. I spend all my time with my son, from early morning wake-up to 7 pm bedtime, it’s us, 24-7. To trips to the beach, outside in the pool, taking a walk or simply doing an art project or trying a new food, it will be posted. And I have zero shame. I don’t really care if you think I’m annoying; if your non-kid self rolls your eyes every time a picture pops up of my kid scarfing down a helping of green beans, or you think it’s over-kill how much I declare my love for my son. Tough shit. I think your constant posts about how drinking too much beer made you oh so drunk that you couldn’t see straight are lame. Basically, I feel like there’s an option to this, and it’s called the delete button. I’m sorry if you get annoyed at the cute pictures and videos but I have family that lives out of town and this is our way of sharing our son with them. It’s also a cool way to keep the memories together that possibly someday, he will get to see what he was doing on July 5th, 2016. I am a facebook mom and I live up to that.

I’m not cool anymore. All I post about is how awesome this diaper is and how much Dr. Brown’s bottles saved my life. The only selfies I take are photo-bombed by a little guy that just loves to play with mommy’s phone. I don’t take pictures of me and my husband anymore because frankly, I’m too exhausted to even try to look decent in them. My instagram feed is 95% my son- with hashtags such as: #mommasboy #myheart #momlife. I don’t post pictures of date nights (what is that?) or post pictures bar-hopping or vacationing without my son…you won’t find that. Sure, all that would be lovely, except that it’s not my realistic view of being a momma. This life, this mom life, is pretty damn cool. It’s tiring, but cool. And I can’t help but let the world know that- to basically want to shout it from my lungs. To want to show every body I come across that HEY- MY SON IS SO FRIGGEN AWESOME!

So if your like me and share your child’s life every step of the way on social medias, I’m here to tell you to keep it up, momma- because there’s nothing I LOVE more than pictures of cute and cuddly babies and toddlers and pre-schoolers and 5th graders splashing in puddles or taking a snooze on daddy. Keep posting. <3

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